Congratulations – baby is here! Maybe you are over the moon, and reveling in every single moment. But, maybe you just don’t feel that connection that everyone told you about. Whether you’re feeling a strong bond you want to strengthen further or are trying to develop more of a connection, here is what you should know about bonding with your baby.
There’s no doubt about it – your hormones are raging right now, trying to rebalance after pregnancy and delivery. It’s a LOT. You may be struggling with some baby blues or postpartum anxiety, and it may be affecting your ability to bond. If it feels overwhelming, talk to your doctor about your options. Be sure to mention to your doctor that you want to ensure that you can continue to bond with your baby and they may have suggestions for you, as well.
Do you have at least two people supporting you? Having extra hands willing to help when you’re overwhelmed will help you keep your connection with your baby intact. If you have a partner, be honest with them about your feelings and discuss ways that they can help support you and baby’s moments of bonding.
Skin-on-skin is one of the most powerful ways to build connection with your baby. Though it may seem like a single thing to do, skin-to-skin has incredible benefits for both mom and baby. According to the Cleveland Clinic, skin-to-skin, or “Kangaroo Care” provides benefits to mom such as the bonded feeling, helping to encourage milk production, and more. For baby, it helps to regulate many body functions and is proven for more positive outcomes. Don’t downplay how much a little extra touch between you and baby can help, even well after birth.
In tandem with skin-on-skin, breastfeeding can provide incredible bonding moments with your baby. Specifically, keeping eye contact with your baby and talking to them while breastfeeding can help you feel even more bonded to them. You’re providing them with life-nourishing food – from your own body! The more you focus on the beautiful act of breastfeeding your baby, the more you will encourage the bond between the two of you.
It isn’t coming quickly? That is okay! Even if you’ve wanted to be a mom your entire life, the process of bonding with your baby may not come as naturally as you expected. That is OKAY. Continue talking to your partner or trusted person and your doctor if you have concerns, but show yourself grace and patience and it will come.
For experienced moms, what were some ways that you felt most bonded with your baby?